Willis Blair

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Willis Lincoln Blair

Born: May 14, 1923 (West Zorra, Ontario)
Died: April 5, 2014 (Toronto)

Willis Blair was a municipal politician in Metro Toronto who supported the bid to bring major-league baseball to the city. The one-time mayor of East York was a member of the Ontario Municipal Board when he worked with Paul Godfrey and others to renovate and expand Exhibition Stadium so the home of football’s Toronto Argonauts could be shared by a baseball team. The Toronto Blue Jays of the American League moved into the stadium in 1977, staying until the opening of SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre) in 1989.

As mayor, he also played host to the inaugural world junior curling championships in his municipality in 1975.

The son of dairy farmers, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War before becoming active in the Progressive Conservative party while a student at the University of Toronto. He was first elected to East York council in 1958 and won election as mayor in 1972. He worked for Canada Life for 25 years and spent many years on public boards.

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